ERIC Number: ED251880
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-12
Communication and Mental Health: Psychiatric Forerunners.
Brooks, Deems M.
The connections between human communication and mental health were first noted 50 to 60 years ago by such early psychiatrists as Alfred Adler, Harry Stack Sullivan, and Karen Horney. They were concerned with understanding those communication processes and skills that make for effective, fully functioning human beings. Adler emphasized faulty lifestyles, noting that the meanings a person lives by may be ineffective in dealing with life's realities. Relationships with others and personal growth likely will be hampered by inferiority feelings, compensation, devaluation of reality, and withdrawal from others, until there is personal insight and reorganization of meanings. Sullivan elaborated a developmental history of interpersonal relations that passes through definite stages: infancy, childhood, the juvenile era, preadolescence, early adolescence, late adolescence, and maturity. The personality is subject to change at all of these stages, and capable of being influenced by new interpersonal relations that develop. Horney focuses on four preconditions for functioning in a healthy way: willingness to take an honest look at conflict situations; examining those conflicts in the light of feelings and thoughts, including presently held values; making a decision or plan of action; and accepting the consequences for behavior. Their pioneering work foreshadows some of the current conceptions regarding the influence of human communication upon mental health. (RBW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A